HOPKINS UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL SURGERY

Kawasaki's John Hopkins was in a buoyant mood and looking forward to a period of rest and recuperation after undergoing successful surgery at the Fremont Surgery Centre in California on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Anglo-American underwent a surgical procedure to remove the metal plates from his left ankle and left foot, inserted following his high-speed crash during practice for this year's Dutch TT at Assen in June.

Surgeons, led by the world renowned Doctor Arthur Ting, also performed keyhole surgery to clean up scar tissue and cartilage damage in Hopkins' left knee, which he injured in the same Assen crash.

Doctor Ting also took the opportunity during the operation to remove a metal plate from the Kawasaki pilot's left hand, the result of a previous injury, to leave Hopkins hardware free for the first time in three years.

Hopkins remained in the Fremont Surgery Centre overnight following the operation, but will return home to San Diego following a 24-hour post surgical evaluation today, Friday 5th December.

The Kawasaki pilot will now require four weeks of rest and recuperation, with only mild rehabilitation exercise, before resuming his full training and conditioning programme ahead of the 2009 MotoGP season.

John Hopkins - Kawasaki MotoGP Pilot #21

"It's unbelievable; it's great to be hardware free again after all this time. I have had several injuries in the past and have had to go through a few surgical ordeals since I was 13-years-of-age, but you never really get used to it. Now all the metal is out of my body I'm looking forward to some rest and recuperation, and spending time with my wife Ashleigh and our two families during the Christmas holiday period. Doctor Ting reckons it will be four weeks before I can start training properly again, but that should give me time to be fighting fit, ready for the start of pre-season testing at the end of January."

Bartholemy - Kawasaki Competition Manager

"John has been either injured, or handicapped by his injuries, for almost the entire season, so the removal of all the metal from his body is an important step in the recovery process for him. John will need approximately four weeks to recover fully from the surgery, but he will then be able to resume his pre-season training programme at full intensity, which should see him fully fit again prior to the first test of the new season at the end of January. It's been hard watching John ride injured this year, so I'm looking forward to seeing him back on the bike fully fit once again. Having John back at 100 percent is important to us now, as we will have the all-new Ninja ZX-RR at the first test of 2009, and we need both our riders on top form if we are to have the bike ready for the first race in April."

-credit: krt